Customer Service

Creative England are committed to being open and accessible and welcomes all comments on its work and the services that it provides.

If you have a concern about the services provided to you please follow the steps set out below.

If you have a comment or concern about the services provided to you, please email info@creativeengland.co.uk

For full details view our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

View all of Creative England’s Lottery awards - last updated 6 March, 2014

Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure: General

Creative England is committed to being open and accessible and welcomes all comments on its work and the services that it provides. If you have a concern about the services provided to you please follow the steps set out below.

If your complaint relates to an application for an award or investment please refer to our separate Lottery complaints procedure which is in the second section of this document. Our complaints procedure is here to help us identify where our services or procedures might be improved.

How to complain

  • Step 1: Resolving informally

The first step is to talk to a member of our staff. This can be done informally, either by arranging a meeting or by telephone. Usually, the appropriate staff member to talk to will be the person who dealt with the matter you are concerned about, as they will be in the best position to help you quickly and to put things right. If they are not available, or you would prefer to approach someone else, then please ask for their line manager. We will try to resolve the problem on the spot if we can. If we can’t do this then we will take a record of your concern and arrange the best way and time for getting back to you.

  • Step 2: Formally taking your complaint further

Formal complaints should be raised within 3 months of the matter occurring. We hope you will only feel the need to make a formal complaint as a last resort and that you will complain to the person dealing with the matter first to give them a chance to put things right. The first formal step is to put your complaint in writing to the appropriate staff member (the person who dealt with the matter in step 1). You should head the letter ‘Complaint’. In your letter please set out the details, explaining what you think went wrong. We will acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working days of receiving it and the letter will say when you may expect a full response. This should normally be within 10 working days unless the matter is of a sensitive/ complex nature.

  • Step 3: Formally raising with the CEO

If you are not satisfied with the response to step 2 you should put your complaint in writing to the CEO. You should head the letter ‘Complaint’. In your letter please set out the details, explaining what you think went wrong and what you feel would put things right. Once the CEO receives a written complaint, she will arrange for it to be fully investigated. The CEO will acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working days of receiving it and the letter will say when you may expect a full response. This should normally be within 10 working days unless the matter is of a sensitive/ complex nature. If this is the case, we will keep you informed on what action is being taken and tell you when we foresee a complete response.

  • Step 4: The Next Stage

If you are not satisfied with the CEO investigation and reply you can take your complaint to the Creative England board. Creative England is a company limited by guarantee and as such is governed by a Board of Directors. All materials relating to your complaint and to the CEO’s investigation will be sent to the Chair of the Board. The Chair will let you know within seven working days that they have received your complaint and tell you when to expect a full response from them. This will normally be within 15 working days. You can obtain contact details for the CEO or Chair by contacting the HR & Operations Manager caroline.hinds@creativeengland.co.uk or 0844 824 6042

Complaints Procedure: Lottery awards

The common Lottery Distributors complaints procedure to be applied in relation to complaints to Creative England for Lottery activity is as follows:

Making a complaint

If you want to make a complaint, we have a procedure for you to follow and this page explains how it works. All organisations that distribute National Lottery funding in England or across the whole of the UK use this procedure. Making a complaint will not affect in any way the level of service you receive from us. For example, if your complaint relates to a funding application your chances of getting a grant from us will not be compromised.

Decisions on applications for Lottery funding are at the discretion of Creative England and an external panel.  An appeal or complaint against the decision on a lottery application cannot be made on the basis of the quality or artistic content of an application.

Formal complaints or appeals can only be considered against the final decision on an application if you have good cause to believe that either:

  • The procedures for processing applications were not adhered to; or
  • The set procedures were applied in such a way as to significantly prejudice the outcome of your application.

If you believe you can establish such grounds please follow this process:

  • Step 1: Resolving informally

The first step is to talk to a member of our staff. This can be done informally, either by arranging a meeting or by telephone. Usually, the appropriate staff member to talk to will be the person who processed your application. If they are not available, or you would prefer to approach someone else, then please ask for their Head of department. We will try to resolve your concern on the spot if we can. If we can’t do this then we will take a record of your concern and arrange the best way and time for getting back to you.

  • Step 2: Formally taking your complaint further

Write to the appropriate Head of department within one month of receiving notification of the decision.  You should set out the ground(s) for your appeal stating the reasons why you believe the procedures were not adhered to or incorrectly applied.  You should make it clear that this is a formal complaint to which you are seeking a response.

You will receive an acknowledgement within 5 working days and a full response within 10 working days

  • Step 3: Formally raising with the CEO

If you are not satisfied with the response, please write to the Chief Executive,Caroline Norbury, within ten working days of receiving response to your complaint.  You should set out the ground(s) on which you believe the first response does not satisfy your complaint.

Please tell us all of the following information:

• what happened;

• when it happened;

• who dealt with you;

• Also tell us if there is anything we need to know about how to contact you (for example, if you would like us to reply by textphone or on audio tape).

You will receive an acknowledgement within 5 working days and a full response within 10 working days.

  • Step 4: The Next Stage

If you are not satisfied with the Chief Executive’s reply, you can refer your complaint to the Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR). You must do this within three months of receiving our response to stage two.

The ICR is unbiased and hears both sides of the complaint. The ICR is not part of our organisation and their investigations and recommendations are independent. There is no charge for using the ICR. The Office of the ICR will contact you within 5 working days of receipt of your complaint. The ICR has the power to decide whether or not to investigate a complaint, and he or she will explain their reasons if they decide not to investigate it.

If the ICR investigates your complaint and finds that it is justified, he or she will recommend ways for us to put things right, and how to prevent a similar situation in future. The ICR will report within three months, and usually more quickly, we will normally make any changes the ICR recommends to our procedures as quickly as possible.

The ICR cannot consider complaints that have not gone through the procedure set out in this document. If you want the ICR to consider your complaint, you must write to them, or send them an audio tape or CD, within 4 weeks of receiving our Chief Executive’s reply.

The ICR cannot reverse funding decisions or make comments or changes to our legal responsibilities and policies on awarding grants.

To contact the ICR see ‘Getting in touch’ below. 

Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you the right to ask us for information. Under the Act, we must provide you with the information you ask for unless it is not covered by an exemption within the Act. If the information you want is exempt, we have to tell you why. If you do not agree with us, you should follow stages one and two of the procedures set out in this document. If you are still not satisfied, you may ask the Information Commissioner to review our decision. To contact the Information Commissioner, see Getting in touch below.

Please forward all FOI requests to :

HR & Operations Manager
Pod 52
The Greenhouse
MediaCityUK
Salford
M50 2EQ

Other ways to make a complaint:

The Parliamentary Ombudsman

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (known as the Parliamentary Ombudsman) investigates complaints by members of the public who have suffered injustice because of maladministration by public organisations.

By law, the Ombudsman is independent of the Government and the civil service, and has wide powers to investigate. The Ombudsman does not normally investigate complaints if they have not been through our complaints procedures first.

The Ombudsman’s services are free. You can get an explanatory leaflet about the Ombudsman – see Getting in touch below.

Judicial review

A judicial review is where a judge examines your complaint to see whether we have behaved illegally. The judge cannot rule that we must change a funding decision, but he or she can ask us to reconsider our decision.

Your personal information

If you use our complaints procedure, you are agreeing that we can use any personal information you send us for purposes connected with your complaint. We may also give your personal information to other people and organisations if we have to do so by law or if you have given us permission.

Equal opportunities

We are committed to equal opportunities and take complaints about discrimination seriously. We may use complaints about discrimination to review our policies and procedures. This is to make sure we treat everyone fairly. We may record information about the ethnic background, sex and disability of everyone who makes a complaint so that we promote and maintain our equal opportunities commitment. We will keep all information confidential.

Getting in touch

Director of Finance & Operations
Creative England
1st Floor
College House
32-36 College Green,
Bristol,
BS1 5SP
Tel : 0844 8246042 

Other contacts:

Office of the Independent Complaints Reviewer
c/o Lottery Forum
7 Holbein Place
London
SW1W 8NR

Tel: 020 7591 6038
Textphone: 020 7591 6255
Email: katie.roberts@lotteryforum.org.uk

You can get an explanatory leaflet about the Ombudsman from:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1 4QP

Complaints Helpline Tel: 0345 015 4033
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Do not use this complaints procedure to make a complaint about any fraud you think has taken place. You should report this to the Director of Finance and Operations at Creative England.